Disgraced former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly held at least four meetings with senior Biden administration officials before he was indicted.
Bankman-Fried met with Senior White House Adviser Steve Richetti on three occasions and Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed once, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The most recent meeting with Richetti was Sept. 8 2022, according to Bloomberg.
EXCLUSIVE: Sam Bankman-Fried held at least four meetings with White House aides this year in a push to influence crypto policy before his FTX empire ultimately collapsed https://t.co/pA4rwUdIgn
— Bloomberg (@business) December 29, 2022
Bankman-Fried met with Richetti on April 22 and May 12, according to White House logs reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. He was trying to build connections in Washington to influence crypto policy before his crypto fortune collapsed.
Bankman-Fried donated $39 million to Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections, making him the party’s second largest donor behind George Soros, according to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.
He also donated $5 million to President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign Super PAC Future Forward USA, records show. He gave $50,000 to the Biden Victory Fund and $2,800 to the Biden campaign in October 2020, records show. It’s unclear if Biden will return Bankman-Fried’s donations in the wake of his indictment.
Federal prosecutors indicted Bankman-Fried Dec. 13 on eight counts of fraud and conspiracy including wire fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations. He was released from custody Dec. 22 on a $250 million bond and is required to stay in his parents’ Palo Alto, California house until his next court date.
According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried “agreed with others to defraud customers of FTX.com by misappropriating those customers’ deposits and using those deposits to pay expenses and debts of Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s proprietary crypto hedge fund, and to make investments.”
FTX was Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange and Alameda Research was its sister hedge fund. In a separate donation, Alameda gave $5.2 million to Future Forward USA, according to campaign finance records. (RELATED: REPORT: FTX Allegedly Used $200 Million In Customer Funds For Venture Capital Investments)
FTX declared chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 11 in the wake of reports alleging customer funds were misused. The Bahamas-based exchange and its U.S. operation were valued at $40 billion in January 2022.
Bankruptcy lawyer John J. Ray III was appointed FTX CEO and pledged to reclaim Bankman-Fried’s political donations allegedly made with customer funds.
Bankman-Fried’s wealth peaked at $26.5 billion and was estimated at $17.2 billion in September 2022, according to Forbes Magazine. He told Axios he had $100,000 left in his bank account the last time he checked.